Ever Vail takes step forward | VailDaily.com

Ever Vail takes step forward

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado – The proposed Ever Vail project took a significant step forward Monday when Vail’s Planning and Environmental Commission approved key zoning changes and boundaries for the land where it would stand.

The vote marked the first time a town board has handed down any major approvals for Vail Resorts’ $1 billion Ever Vail development. Ever Vail has been in the works since 2007 and the subject of more than 35 town meetings.

Monday’s approvals from the planning commission were “hugely significant,” Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kristin Williams said.

“It’s the crowning achievement of the past two and a half years of work,” she said.

Ever Vail consultant Dominic Mauriello echoed that sentiment.

“It paves the way for the rest of the project to move forward,” he said.

Vail Town Council will have the final say on the rezoning and subdivision applications; the planning commission’s approval is basically a recommendation on how council should vote. The planning commission will revisit a small detail of the rezoning Jan. 24. If that gets approved, the rezoning and subdivision applications could come before Vail Town Council next month. Vail Town Council would hear a presentation on Ever Vail from town staff on Feb. 1, said George Ruther, the town’s director of community development.

“This will be the first time the applications are actually sitting on their desk for a vote,” Mauriello added.

Plans for Ever Vail include about 420 condos including affordable housing, a new gondola to Vail Mountain, a four-star hotel, a specialty grocery store, retail space and 400 skier spaces. It would stand on about 12 acres in western Lionshead, south of South Frontage Road and just west of the new Ritz-Carlton Residences.

While the project took a step forward, this doesn’t mean Vail Resorts will be breaking ground on Ever Vail tomorrow.

“There’s a sequence of steps that happen after that, and they’re going to take place over a series of years,” planning commission member Michael Kurz said.

If Town Council approves the zoning and subdivision, the next step would be for Vail Resorts to turn in applications for each of the 12 buildings, Ruther said.

Ever Vail is proposed to be built in three phases, the first being the realignment of South Frontage Road so it runs parallel to Interstate 70 in West Lionshead. There would then be two development phases of the project, with the eastern portion of the property built first, followed by the western portion.

The earliest the Frontage Road realignment could happen is the spring of 2012 – that is if Vail Resorts feels comfortable enough with market conditions to give the project a green light.

Mauriello said the project will bring $32 million in one-time revenues to the town. It will generate $7 million in revenue each year, he said.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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